Category Archives: Visual Art

Labyrinth – Strawberries – April 23, 2017

I planted some red nasturtiums on one of the “mounds” we recently cleared of buttercups.

And lots of strawberries. At first they were just a curiosity. People would go: Oh, and you’ve got a strawberry plant. But then I realized there’s a lot to recommend strawberries for that plot. They have nice foliage almost all year round; they’re hardy; they spread–which means there are a lot of random strawberry plants all around the Unitarian Centre grounds to move.

And–did I mention–you can eat them? and they fruit before the drought comes in July-August.

Getting the plot ready for World Labyrinth Day. I’m rationalizing that it’s not terrible to show where it can still be improved. Perhaps I’ll attract some volunteer labyrinth tenders. Tender labyrinth tenders.

Brian Minter says plant in March, but everything is late this year, right?

Here are some added benefits of strawberries:

The Salk Institute for Biological Studies in their research on strawberries, discovered that a Strawberry flavonoid, called fisetin, can stimulate signaling pathways in the brain, thus enhancing long term memory. Strawberries also lower systolic blood pressure and can reduce the risk of heart disease. This berry is also high in folate that can help lower the risk factors in heart disease.  Strawberries are also loaded with vitamins C and K, contain calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium and are an excellent source of antioxidants.

Sounds like the sunny location is great, but the clay soil and therefore poor drainage isn’t so great.

I’ll try to get Dianne to share some of her worm pee-tea to give them a start.

The article above says to pinch off blossoms for the first year.

I see that the mound planting is a good idea:

If your yard is clay-heavy or does not have good drainage, you’ll want to consider either creating a mound of your strawberry plants to grow on or building a raised bed for your strawberries.



Sign Posts: A show of new work – January, 2017 at Unitarian Centre

It’s always a little scary installing a show of new work. Thank goodness when I got there to hang the work, I still felt it was finished!
The show is on at the Unitarian Centre (949 W. 49th) till the end of January, 2017.
Here are some of the pieces:

5 Stars + 5 Squares 18″ x 36″ on canvas. One of the pieces inspired by a photo taken from the back of the Skytrain
3 Stars + X What could that mean? The starting point of this piece was a photo transfer from a photo taken on a rainy day from the back of the skytrain.
Ladder to Where” 8″ x 24″ on panel
Dots: 3 Red; 1 White” 8″ x 24″ on panel
Pink Horizon 8″ x 24″ on panel
Which of 6 Possible Doors? 8″ x 24″ on panel
Double Double 8″x8″ on canvas
Tapestry 8″x8″ on canvas
Capital A 8″ x 8″ on canvas
Earth / Source 8″x8″ on canvas
First Letters 8″x8″ on canvas
Go Fish 8″x8″ on canvas
Pink and Blue
Stop @ T 8″x8″ on canvas

Above the Great Lakes on Tenth – Properly

photo 1








photo 2

If you’re strolling along Tenth Avenue, you’ll see my painting “Above the Great Lakes” in the window of Tenth + Proper.  Chosen to reflect the colours of their window display.

Here it is “up close”. It has crackle and cheesecloth and all sorts of interesting textures, so you might enjoy getting even more up close.

Hope to see you in June at the annual Artists in Our Midst West Side Art Walk June 18-19.


Flood Streams and Ebb Streams

Flood Streams and Ebb Streams

floodstreams1This piece was inspired by a phrase on a chart that said, “Ebb streams are weak and variable but flood streams may reach velocity mentioned.”

It seemed rather enigmatic. I kept that tiny piece till the very end of the piece and glued it on. You have to look hard to find it. It’s also written on the piece in red ink.

This piece includes some map grids and squares of tissue paper to echo the pattern of the grid.

My mentor Jeanne Krabbendam says if you make a horizontal line, people will read it as a landscape. So this is an abstracted landscape.

Some people see the top right as stained glass. I think of it as sunshine rays that have a cubist feel.

This is 30″ x 40″ and has a companion piece called “Above the Great Lakes”.



Dreamy nest paintings in a bedding store…

The Final Touch 24"x30" $500
The Final Touch 24″x 30″ $500

During the time I was making nest paintings, I learned a lot about the diversity of the kinds of nests that birds build – how tidy, how messy, how big or small (and who helps with the construction!)

These two I think of as rather dreamy, sweet and subtle compared to some of the larger and brighter paintings. And so I’m very happy that they’re “resting” at Fino Lino on Arbutus at 11th.

In the Foggy Dew, 24"x36" $500
In the Foggy Dew, 24″x 30″ $500

Three of my other nest paintings are at Rufus Drum Shop on West Tenth and Alma. You’ll see art in shop windows all over Vancouver’s West Side between now and June 20th. Have a browse – and support our local merchants who are supporting local artists.




Nest paintings heading to Rufus Drum Shop

Mary Bennett_AboveFromBelow
Above From Below 36″x36″ $900
Ledges 36″x36″ $900
Trashed, 36″x36″ $900

As part of Artists in our Midst, we all exhibit paintings around the hood. I’m delighted that three of my large nest paintings are heading to Rufus Drum Shop, West 10th just west of Alma. Circles right? drums! nests!

Also it’s very near to where I’ll be on the weekend of June 18-19 with Jackie Conradi-Robertson at 3625 West 11th.

Allan at the Drum Shop is great. Drop in and say hi to him and my nests.


Make your own finger labyrinth – playdate workshop

A labyrinth is usually a pattern that you walk as a meditation. A finger labyrinth you let your fingers do the walking (to use the old Yellow Pages slogan).

It might be on a wall or on a table or on a cloth that you bring out now and again.

I’ll be scheduling a mixed-media workshop for making your own finger labyrinth, starting with collage and adding on paints, gels, mediums. Stay tuned.

I’ve done two medium-sized ones

16″x16″ From Alpha to Omega and Home Again


12″x24″ Journey Inward

This large one is 30″x40″ and has a T.S. Eliot poem. On the way in you read every second word and on the way out you read the other words.

What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.

We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.
T. S. Eliot

In the workshop, we’ll probably work on 16″x16″. But if you make your own it could be larger but probably not smaller, unless you’re primarily using it as a visual reminder.

I’m working on a series of 8″x8″ mini labyrinths that are a bit small for walking, even with fingers, but could operate something like a mandala to trigger a “labyrinth experience” – You “walk” it with your eyes.

Labyrinth Paintings

LabyrinthTSEliot Canybrinth WhiteCentre floodstreams1 MindtheTruth TrueMoon loseaday gainadayIt’s very gratifying to get nice feedback on my art up at the Unitarian Church of Vancouver (49th & Oak). They started with maps and journeys and many of them wound up being based on the labyrinth pattern.  I’ve still got a few more in progress, from small (6″x6″) to a large one (24″x60″) that are perplexing me. I sometimes think I should have a time lapse camera on them and some way to click Ctrl-Z to go back in time when I’ve veered off in a direction I don’t like.

Here are some of the paintings that are finished and on display.